Knoxville's homeless protest camp clean-ups

Sept. 21, 2016: Dozens of people joined a march in front of Knox Area Rescue Ministries to voice their concerns for Knoxville's homeless population.

Knoxville's homeless population is protesting to raise awareness of the issues they face after camp clean-ups.

It's become a common practice for law enforcement to find and move the homeless out of their camps located around the city. When that happens, they say, they lose all of their belongings.

A couple dozen people joined in a march in front of Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) in north Knoxville on Wednesday, then took a letter to Mayor Madeline Rogero in her office in the City County Building.

What they really want is a place where they can feel safe and secure.

"A designated safe zone where folks can go and publicly rest, perform life-sustaining activities, where they will not be disturbed, where their property will be safe," said J.T. Taylor, Coordinator of Operations for The East TN. Peace and Justice Center.

They also voiced concerns that KARM doesn't have enough beds.

Rogero spoke with the group in her office Wednesday. She told WBIR 10News plans to continue meeting with the homeless collective to hear their issues. 

"Let's work together to find the different niches, the different individuals with the unique problems that aren't currently being served by our vast array of sevices, and let's work on getting them housing. I don't want to settle - we don't settle for camping as a solution," she said. 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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